FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nurses call on Governor Walz, legislators to stand strong against threats to democratic process by corporate health executives
Nurses available at State Capitol sit-in today to speak with members of the press
Today, final day of Nurses Week, local landmarks to be lit red in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth
“Mayo executives refused to engage in the open and transparent democratic process, and they refuse to engage with legislators and the public with transparency now. If corporate executives are allowed to dictate our public policy behind closed doors, it tells Minnesotans that their democratic process does not work for them,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, MNA President. “Governor Walz and legislators must stand strong against corporate bullies, and defend democracy to protect patients and retain nurses in Minnesota. All patients, at every hospital in the state, deserve safe and high-quality care from enough trained professionals. No exceptions, and no exemptions.”
The bipartisan Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is a comprehensive, compromise approach to nurse staffing and retention that would establish committees of direct care workers and management at Minnesota hospitals to discuss what works best for staffing for their patients on a hospital-by-hospital, unit-by-unit level. The bill also includes additional nurse recruitment and retention solutions including workplace violence prevention, protections for nurses against retaliation by management and loan forgiveness programs. Someday, all of us and our loved ones will need care in a hospital. When that day comes, we deserve to know our hospital will be staffed with highly skilled healthcare professionals able to provide the quality care we need and deserve.
Throughout the open and transparent legislative process, the bill has been revised in compromise with state legislators, nurse advocates and hospital administrators – including representatives from the Minnesota Hospital Association and from Avera Health Marshall, CentraCare, HealthPartners Methodist, Maple Grove Hospital, Essentia, Winona Health, and Riverwood hospitals. The bill passed both bodies of the Minnesota Legislature with robust public debate. But at the eleventh hour, Mayo Clinic executives presented an ultimatum behind closed doors, threatening Governor Walz and legislative leaders in an attempt to undermine the democratic process with their corporate power. As reported today, Mayo executives have refused to provide any details on the supposed investments they are threatening the people of Minnesota with to subvert the democratic process.
Today, the final day of Nurses Week, marks the birthdate of Florence Nightingale. Local landmarks will be lit red today in recognition of the week including the I-35W Bridge, Capella Tower, and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis; Allianz Field in Saint Paul; and Enger Tower in Duluth.
Nurses are available today to speak with members of the press as they continue their sit-in at the Minnesota State Capitol outside the Office of Governor Tim Walz, and will continue their sit-in in the days ahead until safe staffing is secured for all Minnesota patients and nurses.